20 different types of plants were produced without the use of any pesticide (mixture of substances for harmful organisms) and herbicide (weed medicine) in the LED-Supported Vertical Agriculture Laboratory (LAVFARM), which was established on the GTÜ campus for smart farming practices within the scope of university-industry cooperation.
Within the scope of the project, a three-storey vertical production area was created in 2 containers with a floor area of 20 square meters, and the plant growing area was increased to 120 square meters.
As a result of the trial productions made using water and LED light without the need for soil and daylight, the harvest period of the plants was shortened and higher yield was obtained.
“We grow plants in an environment they totally love”
Explaining that they grow 20 different plants in a hydroponic environment (a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without using soil) in the LED-Supported Vertical Agriculture Laboratory they call LAVFARM, Çiftçi said that they used rock wool to support water and plants instead of soil.
The farmer stated that they added a certain amount of plant nutrient solution into the water and continued as follows:
“Since there are no weeds in the hydroponic environment, we do not use herbicides and insecticides as there are no insects. Therefore, we grow the plants in an environment they love completely. We use LED lights instead of fluorescent lighting. LED light provides energy savings and longer life than fluorescent light. Here is 12 or 16. Our plants under the hour of light We produce by providing the red and blue lights that plants use the most for photosynthesis with LED The most important difference here is that plants are grown in a completely closed environment, using the red and blue light that plants love, in a hydroponic system without any external spraying. We are actually the first to optimize the co-growth of so many different plants. “
“We prefer medicinal and aromatic plants more”
Stating that the plants are in a favorite environment is the most important advantage of vertical agriculture, Çiftçi said:
“In other words, they grow in a shorter time because they are not exposed to environmental variables such as snowfall outside, frost, suddenly the weather has cooled or warmed. The shortening of this period also affects the quality. Especially in medicinal and aromatic plants, we can do some manipulations that increase the active ingredient. Our plants grow faster because they are not exposed to stress. We get 10 times more production. We are in a 20 square meter container, but we have a production of 200 square meters. “
The farmer explained that they optimized the system for 20 varieties of ornamental and medicinal aromatic plants and worked on different types of basil, rosemary, echinacea, English grass, basil, arugula, yellow rose, pepper and tomato.
Saying that they can work on everything with green leaves, Çiftçi said, “We prefer medicinal and aromatic plants more because we can increase the active ingredient used in medicine by manipulating nutrient solutions and light.” said.
Çiftçi stated that they have reached their final goal now, “We want to move this production to a larger area, to do it in an area of at least one decare. For this, we are negotiating with industrialists to establish cooperation.” used the expressions.
“It can also be done in places such as hangar, subway station”